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Safe to Drink Water from the Deschutes River

My daughter is planning a short winter backpacking trip. She wants to know if it would be safe to drink the Deschutes River water after filtering. Location: Along the Deschutes River Trail near the confluence with the Columbia River.

3 Replies

Hi @Australopithecus - Thanks for bringing this question to the community! That trip sounds like an amazing opportunity for your daughter. We are unable to provide information on the safety of drinking the river's water and suggest reaching out to the Deschutes River State Recreation Area team at (541) 739-2322 for more information.

We hope your daughter has a great time on her backpacking trip! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I was reading this water quality report, not very helpful, but... according to this Oregon hikers forum, as long as you filter it, you’re ok

bon appetite!

REI Member Since 1979

@Australopithecus  I would look carefully for alternative sources - springs or much smaller drainages without major potential polluters upstream.  The problem might likely be pollutants like oil, grease, etc. rather than pathogens that would be removed by filtering.  Frankly, I generally prefer boiling to filtering.

I am a desert rat and to me, looking from afar, that country seems extremely well watered.  It would be much better to hear from someone closer by with intimate knowledge of the area. For what it is worth, I have routinely imbibed from springs and small drainages in the mountains, mostly in Arizona, for about sixty years.  Only in the last twenty or so have I turned to filtering.  No problems whatsoever  Still, these days I am much more careful.

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